So our alien benefactors have seen fit to give us immortality. I mean, you can die by getting shot, drowning, etc still, but natural every-day wear and tear (be that of the DNA or organs) won’t kill you. For hypothetical’s sake, they also have technology that make us incredibly resistant to disease and can cure most of them (though a couple will slip through and kill maybe 10-20 people every decade or so). Is it right for them to switch on a device that takes away our ability to breed?
A Concerned Citizen
Okayokay, I mostly did the nonsense with the aliens for the Half-Life 2 reference. But even without the scenario, let’s say medical science has given us functional immortality as described above. We’ll say that, to be moral, the governments have deemed fit to let people who are tired of living forever to commit suicide (with a quick mental checkup to make sure it’s not just somebody being overdramatic and they logically want to stop). In addition, people in a vegetative state are euthanized more often (or at least, after some reasonable number of years the hospitals refuse to treat them anymore). Is it moral, in this case, to CONTROL breeding? That is, unless the population has declined x%, you cannot legally have a child?.
We’ll assume that we’re not MONSTERS here, if people have surprise octuplets when breeding is legal but limited we’re not going to go and off 7 of them or anything. I’m not going to outline the “hows” of controlling breeding. Everything from mandatory birth control, mandatory abortion during prohibited periods, to the magical no baby radio tower I mentioned in the sci-fi scenario are possible, though in your answer you should probably mention what methods you’re okay/not okay with.
Don’t just kneejerk this though, while it fundamentally comes down to a resources question, keep in mind things like grade school teachers by profession having to have to get a new job for the off years (and all the other side effects that come with not having a body of children around for years on end).
In my opinion… yes, it needs to be done. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like China’s one child policy or anything like that. I don’t support any zero population growth stuff (well, I support somebody’s decision to consciously NOT contribute to population growth, but no regulation or anything) in the modern, non-hypothetical world. There’s no gotcha here. I just think there’s no real way to do it without controlling breeding. Maybe if get really, really good at colonizing other planets we can lift the restrictions. It’s certainly a better option than having a multiplying population that you have to cull (or just let starve itself to death) now and then when it’s clear it’s become way too big. The strain on resources would just be too immense. Either way, I don’t think it would be TOO terrible, after all, you DO live forever, so you have plenty of time to wait for the correct opportunity if you want kids. I’m also sure that between automobile accidents, suicides, wars, mafia hits etc you’ll probably have an opportunity every decade or so (maybe every couple decades).